tv PBS News Hour PBS July 12, 2011 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> woodruff: a sweltering heat wave blasted half the nation today, and triple-digit temperatures roasted americans in cities in the midwest and south. good evening. i'm judy woodruff. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. on the newshour tonight, we have the latest on the extreme weather, and the record drought gripping states from florida to arizona. >> woodruff: then we look at the assassination of afghan president karzai's brother and its impact on safety and stability in that war-torn country. >> ifill: ray suarez explores what's next for rupert murdoch's media empire, as the investigation expands into the phone hacking scandal. >> woodruff: we update budget negotiations in washington and examine the consequences if
lawmakers fail to raise the debt ceiling by the august 2 deadline. >> ifill: tom bearden tells the story of citizen scientists-- some quite young-- on the hunt for ladybugs. >> oh, they're beauties. we can't keep them, sweetie. we're just going to take their picture. >> woodruff: and we reflect on the life of betty ford, as friends, family, and dignitaries gather to pay tribute to the former first lady, who died friday. >> i'm sure they will remember me in recovery and perhaps with equal rights amendment. if i hadn't been married to my husband, i never would have had the voice that i did. >> woodruff: that's all ahead on tonight's newshour. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
>> okay, listen. somebody has got to get serious. >> i think... >> we need renewable energy. >> ...renewable energy is vital to our planet. >> you hear about alternatives, right? wind, solar, algae. >> i think it's got to work on a big scale. and i think it's got to be affordable. >> so, where are they? >> it has to work in the real world. at chevron, we're investing millions in solar and biofuel technology to make it work. >> we've got to get on this now. >> right now. the william and flora hewlett foundation, working to solve social and environmental problems at home and around the world. and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
>> ifill: another blistering forecast greeted millions of americans today. the unrelenting hot weather broke a series of records, and triggered warnings in state after state. >> judging by the -- large portions of the country the sweating is way from over with temperatures over 100 degrees and above. >> how hot do you think it is. >> 109. >> in wichita, a high yesterday of 111 degrees, breaking a record set in 1982. it was expected to hit 103 today, the 20th straight day of triple digit heat. in arkansas some who lost their homes in spring tornados were left to endure the extreme heat. how do you work in 110 degrees. >> you don't. >> also dangerously hot, memphis where daily highs between 99 and
110 degrees are expected through friday. with people doing just about anything to stay cool. >> the water is really cold, yeah. because when it's so hot, it just feels really good to go jump in. >> in raleigh north carolina line, temperatures hit 100 for the first time this year and emergency crews followed their own advice to stay out of the heat. >> our trucks are air conditioned, thank god. >> heat advisories in excessive heat warnings have been issued in this states. stretching from the mid west across the south and up the eastern seaboard to the northeast. records fell in june too as high temperatures and a lack of rainfall combined to create wide spread drought. 14 states across the south and southwest from florida as far west as arizona have been parched for nine months. in texas where conditions are among the worst -- >> we need rain, we really need
rain. >> lots of water also fuels massive wild fires in new mexico and arizona in recent months. in recent days, oklahoma public television shot these images of drought-stricken passures, farmlands in the western and southern regions of the state. some farmers there have begun to sell off herds they can't afford to feed. and as for the rest of the country, temperatures in oklahoma were forecast to shoot past the 100 mark for the 14th consecutive day todays and stay that way for nearly another week. >> the record of 106, topping off at 110. >> meterrologists say the immediate call is for a high pressure system over much of the country's mid section. the pattern is expected to break up later this week at least in some places. >> woodruff: still to come on the newshour, the murder of afghan president karzai's brother; britain's tabloid scandal; the stakes in risking a government default; the hunt for ladybugs; and memories of first lady betty ford.
but first, the other news of the day. here's hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: wall street struggled again today as debt worried in europe weighed on investors. the dow jones industrial average lost nearly 59 points to close below 12,447. the nasdaq fell more than 20 points to close under 2782. european leaders and markets also faced a gathering storm of worries over italy and its financial condition. in a bid to restore calm, prime minister silvio berlusconi vowed to accelerate adoption of austerity measures to balance his country's budget. we have a report narrated by faisal islam of independent television news. >> the europe's announcement of the meeting in brussels with the financial market slump and ratchet up the cost of borrowing yet another highly indebted mediterranean country, except this time it's for real not a tiny peripheral economy but
italy the world's eighth biggest economy. in rome no sense of a greek-style crises just yet. however this city where european economic integration began with the 1957 treaty could yet be decided of its ultimate failure. there are politics putting together a package of spending cuts, particularly after a public spat between the italian prime minister and his own finance minister. >> of course the markets are reacting because they were nervous before and now they're getting much more nervous because of such talks of italy. >> current bailout bonds could not afford italy. they have a national debt worth more than the size of its stagnant economy. today's meeting was actually meant to finally sort out grief, inching toward accepting the form of greek debt default according to one minister here. the problem is the president for
the like of italy and spain. >> the current state of the crises is a severely intertwined combination of the debt crises and banking sector, and we cannot solve one without solving the other. we need to solve both. >> simply put, in italy can't put a lid on this and contact international markets for funds. either the euro zone will break out or europe will need to turn into a fully necked political union in the euro crises and will be just getting going. >> in another developed the moody bond rating service down graded irish government bonds to junk status. the debt toll rose to 88 today in the singing of a russian tourist boat on sunday. more than 40 others were still missing at the scene of the disaster on the volga river, 450 miles east of moscow. russian president dmitry medvedev warned there would be harsh punishment for anyone found guilty of negligence in
the sinking. in pakistan, intelligence officials reported u.s. drone aircraft, firing missiles, killed at least 42 suspected militants in less than 24 hours. four missile strikes targeted sites in tribal areas near the afghan border, beginning late monday night. u.s. and pakistani relations have been increasingly tense since the raid that killed osama bin laden. a u.s. army ranger was awarded the nation's highest military award, the medal of honor, today for heroism in afghanistan. during a fight in 2008, sergeant first class leroy petry was shot in both legs and lost his right hand when he tried to throw back an enemy grenade. his actions saved two other rangers. president obama presented the medal at a white house ceremony this afternoon. later, outside the white house, petry said all of the troops serving overseas are heroes. >> whenever you have a chance or opportunity to thank them, check them, give them a pat on the back for the job they've done because they've earned it.
that's the british award any service member can get is just a simple thank you. >> sreenivasan: petry is the 149th recipient of the medal of honor, and he is only the second living service member to receive one for service in iraq or afghanistan. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to judy. >> woodruff: next tonight, an assassination in afghanistan takes the life of the president's half-brother. >> ahmed wali karzai had survived previous attempts on his life but today a family friend finally did what others could not. the provincial governor said karzai was receiving deaths in the city when a long time associate shot him point blank. a moment later, the awe silient was killed by guards. he laid mortally wounded in the head and chest. soldiers board his body and that of his killers to the morgue. it fell to his half brother,
president karzai to confinger the killing at a joint news conferences with french president sarkozy. >> this morning, my younger brother ahmed wali karzai has been murdered in his house, this is the life of the afghan people and inside houses of the afghan people, we have all suffered from the same kind of pain. >> the taliban claimed responsibility for the assassination, afghan officials said an internal feud was also a possibility. and police launched an investigation. the murder also created an incident and ominous leadership vacuum in southern afghanistan at a time when u.s. troops are to begin withdrawing. ahmed wali karzai was a powerful and controversial figure in the family's an cessual home province of kandahar and was a key power broker and proxy for his brother in the region. but he was also widely suspected
of a deep and pervasive corruption. in an interview last month with the cbc, the canadian broadcasting corporation, karzai dismissed persistent talk of profiteering. >> it is never approved. i might help people to facilitate things for them when it comes to security, when it comes to organizing meeting with the population. because i'm the only person who has all the facilities. >> for years, allegations also swirled that the one-time chicago-area restauranteur had ties who afghanistan's lucrative drug trade. but karzai repeatedly denied those allegations too. and he had a constant defender in his half brother. president karzai made that clear to newshour margaret warner in
early 2009. >> he was a -- have i with given that would suggest that he is involved. that i'm not sure. >> that same year, the "new york times" reported that ahmed wali karzai was on the cia payroll, a charge he also denied. in washington today, a whitehouse spokesman condemned the assassination but said nothing about the repercussions for u.s. policy, if any. >> woodruff: for more on all of this, we go to trudy rubin, a foreign affairs columnist for the "philadelphia inquirer." she interviewed ahmed wali karzai this past may. and thomas johnson, a research professor at the naval postgraduate school in monterey, california. as an advisor to the canadian military, he participated in meetings with ahmed wali karzai. >> and we thank you both for being with us.
thomas johnson, to you first. what more is known about what happened here about who would kill the president karzai's brother? >> well, apparently the person that killed him, mohamed was commander of a militia south of the city but also a very close friend of the karzai family. in fact, his family was responsible for the security at ahmed karzai's father's grave site. what i've been told by my sources is about 11:00 a.m. this morning, mohamed showed up at ahmed wali karzai's estate and asked to speak to karzai. he walked in with a letter in hand and brought out a pistol. karzai came out of his bathroom apparently was shot in the chest and also in the head as you reported. so it's been reported that this person was basically a body guard for the karzai family and i think that's somewhat of an overstatement. one of the check points that his
militia controlled, controlled the access to another karzai brother. so i don't think it was really a body guard. but the militia connection raises some issues. >> does that suggest some sort of internal feud or is it pure speculation. >> i think it's almost pure speculation. it could be feud. often times with many of these local militias there are a few. ahmed karzai himself had his own tribal militia known as the kandahar strike force. karzai was basically the manager of the president's affairs in the south, and he had many friends but he also had many enemies. as you mentioned the lead into this hour, into this segment, he was also alleged of having opium connections, especially with a trucking firm. so he add enemies and many friends. there was a very senior naval general told me nothing important happened in kandahar without wk's knowledge.
>> trudey rubin fill in more of the picture who he was and the role he filled in the southern part of the country. >> well, when i interviewed him at his home in may, you could see that this man was the god father. there was already a queue waiting to see him at 10:00 in the morning. i met him in a large meeting room which was lined with big plush couches and chairs. he was cross-legged, bare foot in a tunic and pants and his cell phone was ringing constantly. it was clear from what he said and what everybody knew, nothing happened in the city without his being a part of it. in fact, the governor of kandahar province and the mayor of kandahar city were both expatriots. the mayor is an accountant from virginia, an african american -- and they were family friends of the karzais with his approval
put in that basically he ran both the city and the province and was very influential in police appointments in every kind of appointment and business dealing. >> ms. johnson, tell us more about how he operated. you have examples of what he did to exert his control over the area, over people. >> let me put it this way. to understand the politics, the security, the economics, the basic situation in kandahar and kandahar city, you have to know three things. you need to know the relationships between the different powerful families, clans and tribes. ahmed karzai was a very prominent tribe in the south. the second thing you need to know is the relationship, the elicit business relationships. he was a entrepreneur, he was involved in cement and trucking. he had land reaches all the way
up. two years ago a very knowledgeable person told me that if land had any water near it, ahmed wali karzai probably owned it. with wealth come powers when you're the half brother of the president of the country. the third thing you need to understand is the dynamics of kandahar and kandahar city is the he list it relationships. he was heavily involved into everything. i mean, i can recall times out in the hinterland provinces for example where there were serious discussions going on concerning who would be the governor, the district governor. and awk, ahmed wali karzai played a rom at that level. i mean nothing happened down there without his knowledge. it's not to suggest he controlled everything but he knew what was going on. >> trudey rubin, despite all this or because of it he still had a very close connection
evidently with u.s. forces and other western forces in the country and military. >> yes. when general mcchrystal came in in 2009 there was a serious effort to try to get rid of him. that was because mcchrystal was focused on a counterinsurgency strategy that believed that argued, that you needed to win the support of the population, get them to support the legitimate government and not feel that they had to turn to the taliban because there was no governance, no court system, no law in order. so the chief of military intelligence from mcchrystal, mike flynn actually said famously to the "new york times" that the only way to get rid of, the only way, sorry, to clean up chicago was to get rid of capone. and he meant ahmed wali karzai. but that effort sizzled, in part
because the president, his half brother stood firmly behind him. and in part i think because the americans realized they couldn't handle the tribal dynamics in kandahar and he did know everybody. in fact became more adept i think in the latter part of the decade in spreading out appoints to other tribes because it had been a complaint that he was giving too much to his own tribal colleagues. and then of course, the c.i.a. was reportedly paying him for many years. this was in reported in 2009. >> thomas johnson, it's early but what is the senses of the impact that going to have on afghanistan and on u.s. plans to pull troops out? >> well, you know i'm sure it's going to have a major psychological impact at least over the short term with his brother. i think if there's going to be a lot of maneuvering both relative to major families and tribes and
other personalities now that the power vacuum has been created. he was the president's manager in kandahar. so there's going to be a bunch of maneuvering for this. this could lead to some insecurity that could have some impact on the draw down. i don't think it's going to be very significant. and finally, i think that most importantly, this is just a further demonstration to the afghan people that nobody appears to be safe in the country. now i'm sure the taliban were probably not involved but it does send a menial. >> quickly, trudey rubin a sense of where things go here and in afghanistan. >> there were already assassinations of top officials in kandahar, including the previous police chief in kandahar city. this certainly will make officials feel uncertain, feel that nobody is safe and moreover, to find somebody who is acceptable, who can maneuver and manage all the tribes and the americans can rely on in kandahar is koag -- going to be
a very tough job. the candidates mel so far are other warlords who have their own problems so this really hurts the american efforts in southern afghanistan. >> trudey rubin, thomas johnson, we thank you both. >> thank you. >> ifill: media baron rupert murdoch came under new pressure in britain today over allegations of hacking into phones and bribing police. the government joined calls for murdoch to give up his bid for british sky broadcasting, b-sky-b. we begin with a report from gary gibbon of independent television news. >> it will be the sort of united message you usually only see in conflict. main political parties will tomorrow volt for one message. ruin earth murdock will bid is not welcome. drop it. rupert maria deduct out of his london home this morning,
yesterday he switched tactics to try to outwit the government. not ministers should judge his bid for the 61%. today the government tried to show it could be light on its fit too. the prime minister's acutely aware that he defines public opinion. he didn't want to oppose a labor motion to be debated in the commons tomorrow which says that the murdock takeover plans should be dropped. in order to remain above the politics he's decided he doesn't need to. to support the motion leaving them behind him. remainder of days past when politicians tried to cozy up to the murdock empire. there was an interview on the back of the allegations yesterday that the sunday times conspired with known criminals to gain access to his private accounts. >> i think what happened is that the sunday times appear to have got access to my business
assignment account, got access to my legal files. there's some question mark about what happened to other documentation tax and everything else. but i'm shocked, i'm genuinely shocked to find that this happened because of the leaks with criminals. >> there were no laws broken in their reports in gordon brown's purchase. gordon brown did not repeat the claim that the newspaper went into his son's medical records. his son denied the allegations. gordon brown said it was the wrong thing to publish anyway. >> some say they got it legitimately. they say they got that information legitimately. >> they don't have to explain themselves. i don't think of any way the medical condition can be put in the public legitimately. you told me you had this story
about the medical condition -- it continues. >> tomorrow rupert murdock and his team will be giving a message they haven't heard from senior pop titionz much in the past. more expanding media empire the commons say should not expand here anymore. >> ray suarez has more about the fallout from this story. >> as the tackics of the can skulls grow one of the key questions is what happened to rupert murdock media empire especially the potential deal. we are covering all of this for npr and he joins us from london, david, welcome. rupert murdock is in britain, who wants to talk to him and what about? >> there's a parliamentary committee hat has requested his presence, the presence of his son james murdock who is the top news corp. executive here in the united kingdom. and rebecca brook she's the chief executive over the news
corporate newspapers here in the uk and she was editor and chief at the time of some of the most egregious alleged incident. >> do they have the power of a subpoena? >> there's some question about that. news international, the newspaper division has put out a statement saying that both mr. murdock, james murdock and ms. brooks will cooperate. but they didn't say necessarily that they'll testify so there's some question as to what form that cooperation will take. >> what does news international have to say about the latest allegations concerning former prime minister gordon brown? >> well he made these very anguished charges that news corp. had essentially targeted him, had sought to damage him. and interestingly, the allegations involved two newspapers that are not the tabloid news of the world but now we know it's been shuttered because of the role in the growing scandal. he says the times of london,
reporters for the excuse me sunday times, had misrepresented themselves in order to obtain private and personal financial documents and other records. he said he was the subject of other forms of bragging they call it here and voice mail hacking efforts. in addition he says the saab lloyd sun newspaper, part of murdock's stable had somehow gained access to private medical records for his infant son. several years ago there was a story in the son about the diagnosis that the browns had received that he had the cystic fibrosis. and it was heart breaking for the browns to deal with it but in that moment just as they were dealing with that diagnosis, they had the dwhraition too and rebecca brooks, editor of the sun and it's interesting how often she pause up, she called gordon brown to inform him of this. he said they were deaf stayed and -- devastated and he said these are private and violating that could be a crime. news international today issued some sometimes, sometimes from
the sunday times said that misrepresentation they did was in the public interest to try to figure out if mr. brown had obtained the acquisition of an apartment below market rates. the second question was about the son and the son issued a statement saying that they did not illegally obtained medical records nor did they commission anything else to do so. the information of the diagnosis had been brought to them by the relative of someone else who had the disease who is sympathetic to the browns. they're proud of the coverage of the browns. they can't violate medical laws but raised awareness. >> new revelation concerning the media culture, if these allegations are true is not just sleepsy -- sleazy and out of control but involving criminal misconduct. what is the revelation recording the police. >> these are scandals here in
england. you've got the political establishment back on its heels. you got the media empire by far rupert murdock enmeshed in controversial and now you have question of the police. the police are in siege for their actions in two different ways both high and low. there are clearly strong allegations to some degree acknowledge that at least in small part by senior police officials now that there's a significant amount of corruption that reporters and journalists were paying for information or perhaps digging into data bases that are supposed to be off limits. what's in question is behavior of the police itself in investigating the action of news of the world. several years ago there was a round of scandal when it turned out that some funds of the royals and their closest associates were hacked into for voice mails. two people went to jail, one of them was editor for news of the
world, the other a private investigator. and the police then stopped and said this is all the evidence we had. evidence was raised anew when the guardian newspaper did some reporting in 2009 saying this was incredibly wide spread. the police did another review, the assistant deputy commission testified about it, it would be found there was no efd on which to base further inquiry. they reviewed it for a period of several hours in a single day and it now appears his conclusion was far off the mark. >> news corp. wants to acquire the rest of the portion it doesn't already own. is that deal in trouble and as murdock skated he -- indicated he might be ready to jettyson his newspaper. >> you're seeing a vote tomorrow that the opposition party has thrown up here to say we call on mr. murdock to withdraw his bid. quite surprisingly the ruling coalition, that is the
conservative party, mr. cameron and nick greg's liberal democrat are joining the labor party to form a united front to call upon mr. murdock to withdraw the bid. had that said, news corp. has indicated that they are willing for this to be referred to an antitrust independent regulatory agency. and what that will do is look hard at the question of whether or not it contraits too much power in one media entity and kicks it down the road for several months. it's the hope of news corp. executives who are eager for this deal to go through to solidify their control of the nation's largest broadcaster, that it will occur at a time when political passions have cooled and the fires of scandal don't burn quite so brightly. >> npr david joining us from london. david, thanks a lot. >> you bet.
>> ifill: debt ceiling negotiations crept along at a snail's pace today, as both sides agreed on the need for action, without actually agreeing on how to get there. >> with no deal in sight the political barbs on the senate floor mitch ma connell delivered a blistering tra keak of president obama's leadership. >> the president has presented us with three choices. smoking mirrors, tax hikes or default. republicans choose none of the above. the i had hoped to do good but i refuse to do harm. >> house speaker john boehner also faulted the plan. >> i hope he puts on the table
something congress can past. >> they accused republicans of shirking their own responsibilities. >> the need for the united states to take action so that it fulfills its obligations and pays in the entirety of its existence, it's not a democrat problem it's not a republican problem, it's an american problem. the progress continues to move forward because despite elevated rhetoric, the fact is everyone recognizes, everyone who has been in that room and who will be in that room again this afternoon recognizes that there is no alternative here to taking action and dealing with the problems before us. >> the president also sought to raise the stakes telling cbs news scott pele that social security recipients could pay the price of a failed deal. >> you can guarantee as president those checks will go out on august 3rd. i cannot guarantee that those checks go out on august 3rd if
we haven't resolved this issue. because there may simply not be the money in the coffers. >> but the public attack and counterattack did not prompt negotiators returning to the whitehouse for the fourth time in six days to try they said to resolve their differences. >> senate republicans meanwhile are floating a back up plan should the talks fail. the proposal would in effect give the president unilateral authority to raise the debt ceiling without guaranteed spending cuts attached. >> in these analysts discussions, in seemingly all the discussions that have gone on, we've become increasingly pessimistic that we will be able to reach an agreement with the only person in america who can sign something into law and that's the president of the united states. this is not my first choice. my first choice is to get an agreement with the president to significantly reduce spending. and we're going to continue to talk to them about that in the hopes that we can get there. the senate majority leader
harry reid said he would read the plan first before weighing in. >> i'm not about to trash his proposal. it's something that i will look at. i will look at it intently, and i think any new ideas i'm willing to look at. >> it remains unclear how house republicans who have insisted on the spending cuts would respond. meanwhile a washington post resuture center poll found on growing number of americans, 42% now see a greater risk. the main concern is raising the debt ceiling will lead to more spending and even more so what happens if negotiators don't reach a deal? according to a report by the bipartisan policy center, in august alone, federal spending would immediately be cut by 44%; the treasury department would be forced to roll over $500 billion in debt; and the u.s. credit rating could very well be downgraded. here to discuss that report is
jay powell, who served as undersecretary of treasury under president george h.w. bush, and is now a visiting scholar at the bipartisan policy center. >> thank you, good to be here. >> the president said today that on august 3rd, social security checks might not go out. is it that dire? >> well, if we don't raise the debt ceiling by august 2nd, then on august 3rd, the federal government will come to work and will be short $.44 on the dollar for the rest of august and will not be able to make a great number of very important payments. so the president's statement is important on its face. >> there are public opinions because people first of all said hey we should pay our debts and now they're saying maybe we shouldn't default. what is the distinction between what we're seeing here? is government default really an option? >> well, there's sort of a laboring game going on here. let me divide it. the first is an actual debt default and my work in the
background says that's an unlikely event. there's always enough money to pay interest on the debt and it's probably very unlikely there would be an actual debt default. but we're going to default if we don't raise the debt ceiling by august 2. in fact if you take interest off the table to be paid first to avoid default we've got to cut 50% of other spending and that will be default on other congressional mandated spending. >> it's interesting there's another standoff in washington. in fact what is this prolonged debate all about. >> well the debt ceiling is an odd provision of law that's off the stage for years at a time and comes on the stage and everything depends on it. what this really is about is allowing the executive branch to have the money to carry out congress' spending orders. in our system of government, congress decides how much to spend and what to spend it on and orders the executive branch to do that. the executive branch is supposed to do that. the executive branch has no independent role which laws to obey and which not. in this situation, the executive
branch, the separation will be unable to pay about half of our non-interest bills for the rest of august if the debt ceiling's not raised. we've never defaulted on our obligations like that. it will affect lots of lots of people if that happens. >> around the world. >> yes. it's a great likelihood there is significant market turmoil. you can imagine turmoil in the stock market and certainly imagine higher interest rate in an attempt to fault $5 billion in new debt to pay often old debt. you can also imagine the cut of the excess of 10% of gdp. it's a good spending cut if it's that big. it's going to have significant effects on our economy. that will ripple throughout the global economy as well. >> there has been debate at least on another -- let me put it this way. there is some republicans saying it's not a big deal it happened
in the short term in the 1970's, just pay the interest, the rest of it will catch up. what do you say to that? >> well, there are a come of stageness out there. first there are some who believe that the treasury department has a bag of tricks and they'll make this all go away and it's just not true. the administration has been very very transparent and the measures that are taken in this situation are quite well-known to insiders in this field. and they've been used and they're going to run out of cash on august 2. so that's not going to happen. it's not a big deal and they need to take a look at our study which they can do on the website. you can pay the social safety net for example, pay those programs, shoacialt security, medicare, medicaid, food stamps things like that. if you do that, protect the old, the sick and the poor, then you haven't got a dollar for national defense, not a dollar. you also haven't got a dollar for the justice department.
there's no law enforcement. you don't have federal prisons. you don't have the fbi, you haven't got the bureau of alcohol, tobacco and firearms. you don't have pel grants for students going to college in august. so the level of disruption, are the more we show this study to people the more they understand. it's not an argument for cutting spending, if the facts are what they are, people are come around to that. >> when you say people, when you go to capitol hill and talk to congressional leaders, are they persuaded? >> well i think the congressional leaders. as the press secretary said, the congressional leaders understand this to a person, and that includes democrats and the republicans in the house and the senate. there isn't one in that group that doesn't understand it very well. when you get down to the rank and file, it was very different a month ago. we don't give political or tactical advice, we present the facts. i like to think that that voice is useful in this debate to tell
people that the facts are what they are and they're not what we might wish them to be. >> is there any concern anyone watching this debate, whether it's creditors or other nations around the country, around the world will look at us and lose confidence in the u.s. financial state. >> very much so. half of our debt is held abroad, half of it. that's $500 billion in new debt as i mentioned. so in the middle of this process, they're going to be looking at us not paying half of our non-debt-related bills and they're going to be saying i don't understand this. you're telling me that the debt is good, you're not paying social security, you're not paying troops or something. you can't cut half spending without cutting very many important and popular programs. you would think it will be a lasting blemish on our otherwise very good record on the credit front. >> is there a -- it sounds like too much to hope for but is there middle ground for people who say we should pay our bills and i don't like the idea of raiding the debt limit which is a very popular political stand.
people who say i don't mean the idea we continue to spend ourselves into debt. other than just temporarily kicking the can down the road as the president said, is there another solution. >> yes. i think that's the right place to be. we do absolutely need to get our country back on the sustainable fiscal path but in the meantime we have to raise the debt ceiling. i try not to say we have to but i think our work speaks for itself. it's absolutely correct and it's a good thing we're having this conversation. i give credit to those who are forcing the issue. we need to get government spending under control and get the country on a fiscal path. but you can't get there unless you in crease the deficit by not raising the debt limit. >> thank you for walking us through this. >> thank you so much. >> woodruff: now, some unlikely scientists try to solve the mystery of lost bugs. newshour correspondent tom bearden joined them on their hunt.
>> about five or -- >> gayle star is a guard ladybug detective. >> and i'm glad you can come today because the ladybugs are happening out here as you can see. >> she is a top performer in the lost ladybug project, a national research study is trying to find out why some native species of ladybugs have been disappearing. >> did you get -- >> it was cool. >> they're beauties. >> i want to keep those. >> we can't keep them, sweetie, we're just going to take their picture. >> her day job is teaching third grade at springs ranch elementary in colorado springs. ladybugs are her hobby and her mass. for the last three years she's enlisted her students to help in the search. >> i got three. >> on this warm day in the shadow of pikes peak, about two dozen kids and their parents needed her call even though they were out for the summer.
>> i found one. >> star and 4,000 other citizen scientists are helping professional scientists survey the entire country by collecting ladybug specimens, photographing them and e-mailing the pictures to cornell university. nobody has submitted more pictures than star and she's found quite a few rare species. >> we put them on ice for a minute to chill them, to try to calm them down a bit. otherwise they run and the pictures are blurred. >> cornell university's doctor is the lost ladybug director. he says in the late 70's and early 80's scientists began noticing that ladybug species were disappearing and that other species were taking over in some places. rosy says knowing why that's happening is important because ladybugs are predators that eat insects that attack food crops. >> without ladybugs out there doing their job, we could not grow the food and fiber that we
need. they're absolutely essential for us to be able to practice agriculture in the way we do now. >> rosy says the decline was precipitous this ladybug hadn't been seen there in 15 years but they didn't have the manpower to find out why this was happening. >> there weren't enough scientists took out to all the different places where these ladybugs could be. and so we wanted to recruit people from all over the country to help us look. >> so they decided to use the citizen science approach, getting people to volunteer to collect information in the field. >> with all these young people and their parents out there looking for these ladybugs, they've been able to find a lot more than the scientists and in a much shorter period of time. and it just means a lot of hands and a lot of eyes out there can really do the job. >> they sent in more than 11,000 pictures so far all of which have been plotted on interactive
maps available on the internet. two species were discovered as a pest control measure in the 60's and 70's. it's too early to tell if they're responsible for loss of native ladybugs or whether they're just filling in the gap. >> we're hoping that we can figure out why they've declined and maybe prevent them from declining further and maybe prevent it from happening to other species. >> that's what the ladybugs eat, that's why we're like ladybugs. >> back in could, star says the children are proud of their contributions to science. >> they just enjoy getting out and doing things. we know the picture of their ladybug is going to a project and that scientists are going to look at it. and it's going to be on their website. >> both star and rosy hope that exposure to projects like this will encourage young people to consider science careers. sixth grader jason is thinking about it. >> i do find this very interesting and i do find this very fun. >> have you thought about maybe
pursuing a career in science as a result of this. >> yes. science is my favorite subject and for a long time it will be for sure. >> the project has another year of national science foundation funding and rosy hopes it will be extended. he says there's still plenty of room for more citizen scientiss to join up. >> ifill: finally tonight, remembering former first lady betty ford. her funeral was held this afternoon in california. she died friday at her home in rancho mirage of natural causes at age 93. betty ford was one of the nation's most admired first ladies, in part because she was frank, forthright, and down to earth. her husband, gerald ford, the nation's 38th president, died in 2006. her life was chronicled in a one-hour documentary called "betty ford: the real deal" produced by macneil/lehrer productions. it aired on pbs in march 2009. here's an excerpt. the narrator is actress jane
alexander. >> in 1970, watergate, women's rights and vietnam. tumultuous time catapulted gerald ford and his wife betty into the whitehouse. he was plain spoken, she was outspoken. >> it is impossible to overestimate the impact that betty ford had on the office of the first lady. she changes everything about the role of the first lady. >> in betty ford's brief and unexpected reign of first lady, she broke the mold. she was a pro choice republican who became the first first lady to take on a female anyone agenda and the first to debate
it with her husband. >> i'm outspoken sometimes at the detriment of my husband's role. >> for her to be honest about her bout of breast cancer and drug and alcohol abuse saved millions. it was an incredible and sometimes painful journey. on august 8th, 1974 a shocked nation watched president nixon's final broadcast. >> i shall resign the presidency effective at noon tomorrow. vice president ford will be sworn in as president at that hour in this office. >> it was in my mind the saddest day of my life. i can't remember when i felt so totally unable to handle something.
>> minutes after the nixons departed, gerald r. ford was sworn in as presint of the united states. >> so help me god. >> congratulations. [applause] >> my fellow americans, a long national nightmare is over. >> i felt that the responsibilities of assuming a role of first lady would be very confining. >> nixon's resignation was so sudden, ford had to commute to the whitehouse for the first few weeks of his presidency while the nixon's belongings were being packed up. >> my mom was kind of standing over the stove that night cooking and doing some stuff. and we thought derry something's wrong here. you just became president of the united states and i'm still
cooking. we were living in suburbia. i think it could be argued she made more of a contribution to the way people lived their lives and literally extend their lives than not only most first ladies but probably most first presidents. >> i'm sure they will remember me in recovery and perhaps with equal rights amendment, and certainly the breast cancer, those were all big things for me. but if i hadn't been married to my husband, i never would have had the voice that i did when those things arose. so being married to him was probably the big else decision i made and the best decision i made. >> ifill: friends and family remembered the former first lady today at st. margaret's church in palm desert, california. former president george w. bush escorted former first lady nancy reagan in, followed by first
lady michelle obama and former first ladies secretary of state hillary clinton and rosalynn carter. ford chose those who would eulogize her, even selecting the subjects for their talks. here's part of what rosalynn carter and abc correspondent cokie roberts had to say. >> betty you broke new ground in speaking out on women's issue, public disclosure with our own bout of breast cancer lifted the veil of secrecy of this disease. she used the influence of office of first lady to promote early detection in millions of women who are in her debt today. she was never afraid to speak the truth. even about the most sensitive subjects, including her own struggles with alcohol and pain killers. she got some criticism. i thought she was wonderful. and she gave to others every single day. >> they assigned me the daunting
honor of speaking at her funeral. it will con as a surprise to montague that the assignment came with instructions. [laughter] she wanted me to remind you how it was in washington and i wouldn't be at all surprised that she timed her debt to be sure she can convey the message of comedy this week -- [laughter] mrs. ford had something very important going for her. she knew who she was. before her sudden ascension to first lady she said i'll move to the whitehouse, do the best i can and if they don't like it, they can kick be out. but they can't make me be somebody i'm not. and she knew, like her friends, the other congressional women, she knew that her husband could not be who he was if she were
not who she was. all of us over many years praise you betty ford and this congressional brat along with the rest of the country, especially the women who has been keeping this republic. thank you. >> ifill: mrs. ford's body will be flown to grand rapids, michigan, for a second memorial service thursday. she'll be buried later that day alongside her husband at the gerald r. ford presidential library and museum. >> woodruff: again, the other major developments of the day. a blistering heat wave broke more records and triggered health warnings in dozens of states. the half-brother of afghan president karzai was assassinated. ahmed wali karzai was a power figure in southern afghanistan. >> the political barb grew sharper in washington's struggle to cut the national debt. there were no solutions in cyte. and to hari sreenivasan for what's on the newshour online. hari? >> sreenivasan: watch all of the betty ford documentary on the rundown blog.
on the debt ceiling, use our interactive graphic to explore the day-by-day consequences if lawmakers miss the deadline next month. that's on making sense. plus, read more from tom bearden on the search for lost ladybugs. all that and more is on our web site, newshour.pbs.org. judy? >> woodruff: and that's the newshour for tonight. on wednesday, we'll look at italy's spiraling debt crisis, fueling fears of instability in europe. i'm judy woodruff. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. we'll see you online, and again here tomorrow evening. thank you, and good night. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: chevron. we may have more in common than you think. and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century. and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations.
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